BONGIORNO: “THE INDICATIONS OF GUILT WERE INVENTED”
HELLMANN: “THE REPORT WAS FANTASY”, “WE SHOULD HAVE SAID THAT THE COPS WERE CRIMINALS”
We certainly didn’t expect that the Supreme Court of Cassation would have annulled the acquittal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2013. It was for sure a mistake, so incomprehensible that to people emotionally involved it looked like a huge conspiracy was taking place in Italy.
Therefore, if all judges and politicians of Italy are secretly meeting to plan the conviction of two students and to free the “secret agent” Rudi Guede, we should be now one step away from the conclusion of that plot. Next trial, in Rome’s Supreme Court, should be just a formality, Knox and Sollecito should be convicted, and everyone in the conspiracy will be happy. But, is it really the case?
1.0 WHY THE SUPREME COURT REOPENED THE CASE IN 2013
When facing something unknown people like to fantasize and make their own conspiracy theories, it’s natural.
Maybe, instead, the explanation is always the simplest one, and for everything: maybe Guede didn’t kill Meredith in a conspiracy with Knox and Sollecito… maybe he wasn’t a secret agent who went there to accomplish a mission… maybe there’s not an American organization that paid the media to say that Knox and Sollecito were innocent, and two judges to acquit them… as maybe there’s not a conspiracy of Italian judges and politicians to convict two students.
Let’s see, then, if there are some legal reasons for the Supreme Court to have reopened the case because, in case, there may be the same legal reasons to annul their conviction.
1.1 The Calumny Conviction
The ruling of Claudio Pratillo Hellmann and Massimo Zanetti contained one inconsistency: Knox was acquitted for murder but convicted for calumny (even though, as we know, there wasn’t any calumny). Accusers argued that if she accused an innocent (“calumny”) –as ruled by Hellmann, too– that was proof that she was involved in the murder.
Hellmann and Zanetti, in their motivation report, used irony to explain that even if they had convicted Knox for calumny, they knew that she didn’t commit any calumny, since her declarations weren’t spontaneous. But irony doesn’t make jurisprudence; it is not read in Supreme Court.
The explanation of why he convicted Knox for calumny, Hellmann gave only in an interview to Oggi: “Because otherwise we should have said that the cops were criminals.” So, in order to avoid saying that the cops had committed a crime in soliciting Knox’s statements against Lumumba, he made an inconsistent ruling, and, since interviews don’t belong in the trial, that inconsistency remained unexplained, becoming one of the elements used to ask for the annulment of his ruling. The S.C. is just there to find inconsistencies in rulings, they found that one, and they used it, with other elements, to legitimately annul that ruling.
1.2 Guede’s Conviction
The trial of Rudi Guede ended up with a conviction of 24 years for murder (reduced to 16, not because he was a “secret agent,” but because he took the short trial option). Within their report, though, those Supreme Court judges said that he had committed the crime with others.
Knox and Sollecito’s lawyers spent a lot of time talking about incomprehensible technicalities about DNA, but not enough to explain why the ruling about Guede was wrong (because it resulted from a flash-trial based on data that were then disproved). It looked like they were afraid to say in S.C. that another S.C. ruling was wrong. And if you are afraid of speaking, you can’t complain if things then turn against you.
So, due the “psychologism” of defense lawyers and their lack of opposition, the S.C. took that “truth” delivered by that other S.C. ruling, applied it to the case of Knox and Sollecito, and ordered a retrial, requiring legitimately that the court consider if Knox and Sollecito could be the others who, according to Guede’s S.C. ruling, committed the crime with Guede.
1.3 The Body of Circumstantial Evidence
The Supreme judges apprehended the case only from trial records.
They didn’t see things and persons, they didn’t live the case.
They didn’t see, for instance, the main witness Antonio Curatolo, and nothing prevented them from thinking that the bum could be a normal person, with no reason to lie, and who could have really seen Amanda and Raffaele. And the same was true for everything else.
We have lived the case, we have seen all indications of guilt being produced over time, always coming to save a castle that was collapsing. Then we have seen them being explained, over the years, one by one. To the S.C. judges, instead, those indications of guilt were presented all together, as if they had never been explained. Bongiorno said that they were “invented,” but didn’t explain when, how, why and by whom. It was natural then, for the S.C. judges, to legitimately order a new trial to see if they could be united in a story that made sense, especially because there was a main element that we shall see below.
1.4 The Non-Testing of the “I” Trace
We had pointed out, during the discussion in the S.C., the great interest that the trace “I” on the knife was attracting. Undoubtedly, indeed, that became the main reason for the retrial decision.
The S.C. judges noticed that during the examination of the knife ordered by Hellmann and Zanetti, court-appointed experts Carla Vecchiotti and Stefano Conti had detected a small amount of DNA, the trace “I”, but had decided not to test it since the quantity was so small that the test wouldn’t have been reliable (moreover, with all party experts agreeing with that decision).
The S.C. ordered a new trial so that the trace “I” could instead be tested. A decision useless in our view (we know, indeed, that Meredith’s DNA simply couldn’t be there), but not in the opinion of the Supremes, who didn’t have an actual knowledge of the case and didn’t know, for instance, that the knife was used for cooking in the days after the murder.
We understand, then, that the decision to order a retrial was not necessarily an act of cruelty, or corruption, or decided within a huge conspiracy, but rather a legitimate will to leave nothing unanswered. It was elicited mainly by the non-testing of the trace “I”, and facilitated by the fact that testing techniques had in the meantime improved, and even the trace “I” could now be read.
Reasoning in the same way, the S.C., as we shall see, will have to annul Florence verdict.
See you tomorrow….
Written By Frank Sfarzo